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Control SAG Mill sound detection (3 replies)

Tony Verdeschi
9 months ago
Tony Verdeschi 9 months ago

Through continuous improvement and the use of advanced technologies like SmartEar™, Pueblo Viejo are improving the control and operation of their SAG mill, resulting in reduced liner wear, more efficiency.

Volume Title: 12th Mill Operators' Conference 2014 Semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) mill control is complex and depends on many dynamic process variables.

Jean Rasczak
9 months ago
Jean Rasczak 9 months ago

Sounds great, how an experienced operator would run a Mill? If the sound is on the lower level, does the auto system lower the feed rate or speed up the mill, what has the auto system have in place to compensate lifter wear as this affects sound/remedy as well not to mention the obvious, densities/water addition in which case we need to look at mill weight? Where grate discharge or overflow discharge need to be interpreted a little differently as pegged grates change the whole shooting match. Modern technology is sensational but companies should not try and replace experience with technology.

It should be emphasised that these gauges are only as good as the operators who monitor and control these systems and equipment.

Alan Carter
9 months ago
Alan Carter 9 months ago

I applaud Pueblo Viejo for this work. Sound control of a SAG mill is a subject that needs to be talked about more. I have been working on mill control, using microphones, for a good part of my career and I can say with much confidence that it works. Where I work now, Minera San Cristobal in Bolivia, we use sound control on both the SAG and Ball Mills. The result of this control is a 25% increase in throughput, over the plant design, with a 10% reduction in energy consumption; the mill is more efficient. The mill control manipulates the feed rate and mill speed depending on ore and liner conditions. Liner wear has improved and ball consumption has decreased. Great job Pueblo Viejo keep focused on this control and it will pay off.

Zander Barcalow
9 months ago
Zander Barcalow 9 months ago

I can vouch for the usefulness of this system in a recent SAG milling operation. The Smart Ear system was used to optimise the operational charge filling setpoint, and to minimise time periods spent in unfavourable or risky configurations where ball/ liner impacts were likely. The distinguishing feature of the system is the impact counter, which allowed this to happen. Of course, careful attention from an experienced human ear is still required for system calibration and validation of events where excessive impacts are experienced. Nonetheless, the system provides a fast signal that allows a control system to stabilise the mill control in a manner superior to human input alone.

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